reference deployment

StarWind Virtual SAN on AWS

Highly available iSCSI shared storage

This Quick Start deploys StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN)—a virtual storage area network—on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. It provides software-defined iSCSI (Internet Small Computer Systems Interface) shared storage. Because the Quick Start automates the deployment and configuration of the operating system and the application, you can have a working high-availability (HA) iSCSI storage device in minutes.

This architecture eliminates the need for physical shared storage by mirroring Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes between Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. The mirrored volumes can be accessed using iSCSI to support roles, applications, and services in a clustered system.

By deploying StarWind VSAN over three Availability Zones, you can take advantage of the fault tolerance of multiple Availability Zones and the StarWind VSAN HA feature. This Quick Start supports applications running on Windows Server Failover Clusters that require Cluster Shared Volumes.

StarWind logo

This Quick Start was developed by StarWind Software in collaboration with AWS.

  •  What you'll build
  • This Quick Start sets up the following:

    • A highly available architecture that spans three Availability Zones.
    • A virtual private cloud (VPC) configured with public and private subnets, according to AWS best practices, to provide you with your own virtual network on AWS.*
    • In the public subnets:
      • Managed network address translation (NAT) gateways to allow outbound internet access for resources in the private subnets.*
      • A Windows bastion host in an Auto Scaling group to allow inbound secure Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) access to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances in public and private subnets.*
    • In the private subnets:
      • Two StarWind VSAN EC2 storage instances (nodes 1 and 2) in Availability Zones 1 and 3. These instances provide the StarWind HA storage devices, which are stored as a synchronous copy on each instance's D: volume.
      • A StarWind VSAN EC2 witness instance (node) in Availability Zone 2. This instance monitors the storage instances to ensure quorum in case one of them fails.
      • Two iSCSI elastic network interfaces in Availability Zones 1 and 3. These network interfaces give storage clients access to the VSAN storage (StarWind HA devices).
      • Three management network interfaces in Availability Zones 1, 2, and 3. These network interfaces give administrators management access to the instances and support witness traffic between all nodes.
      • Two synchronization network interfaces in Availability Zones 1 and 3. These network interfaces replicate the storage on the StarWind VSAN storage instances.

    * The template that deploys the Quick Start into an existing VPC skips the components marked by asterisks and prompts you for your existing VPC configuration.

  •  How to deploy
  • To deploy this Quick Start, follow the steps in the deployment guide, which includes these steps. The stack takes about 25 minutes to launch.

    1. Sign in to your AWS account. If you don't have an account, sign up at 
    2. In AWS Marketplace, subscribe to Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for StarWind Virtual SAN on Windows Server 2019 or StarWind Virtual SAN on Windows Server 2016.
    3. Launch the Quick Start. (Before you create the stack, choose the AWS Region from the top toolbar.) Choose one of the following options:
    4. Test the deployment.
    5. (Optional) Create and configure a Windows Server Failover Cluster.

    Amazon may share user-deployment information with the AWS Partner that collaborated with AWS on this solution.  

  •  Cost and licenses
  • The Quick Start requires a subscription to a Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for StarWind Virtual SAN on Windows Server 2019 or StarWind Virtual SAN on Windows Server 2016, which are available from AWS Marketplace. Additional pricing, terms, and conditions may apply.

    You are responsible for the cost of the AWS services and any third-party licenses used while running this Quick Start reference deployment. There is no additional cost for using the Quick Start.

    The AWS CloudFormation templates for this Quick Start include configuration parameters that you can customize. Some of these settings, such as instance type, affect the cost of deployment. For cost estimates, refer to the pricing pages for each AWS service you use. Prices are subject to change.

    Tip: After you deploy the Quick Start, create AWS Cost and Usage Reports to track costs associated with the Quick Start. These reports deliver billing metrics to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket in your account. They provide cost estimates based on usage throughout each month and aggregate the data at the end of the month. For more information about the report, refer to  What are AWS Cost and Usage Reports?